(This takes place just after Season 2.)
Oliver had gotten the call halfway through the seven hour return flight from the Island. Detective Lance had landed in the intensive care unit for internal injuries sustained during Slade’s invasion.
Felicity had convinced Oliver even before they’d landed that she wanted to go with him. She’d insisted, actually, and had been close to arguing with him using her loud voice by the time her distracted mind registered the fact that he hadn’t once denied her request. She was tired, but just the thought of closing her eyes for more than a blink set her nerves on edge.
Felicity hadn’t given thought to how out of place she would feel until she was standing in a brightly lit hospital hallway a few paces behind Oliver, who had just been nearly tackled by a highly emotional and tear-stricken Laurel Lance.
Laurel noticed her a moment later. “Felicity?” Her confusion made perfect sense because why would a woman she's barely met be there to visit her hospitalized father?
“He’s my friend,” the Felicity but blurted out in defense of herself. Oh, if she’d only left it there.
Felicity liked to think that her penchant for babbling was a result of her genius, that the section of her brain dedicated to technology-know-how was giving a wedgie to the portion of her brain where speech impulse control was delegated to.
At least this way she could believe there was an upside to her constant foot-in-the-mouth habit of embarrassing herself.
“And just to clarify, I mean Detective Lance, not Oliver. Not that Oliver and I aren't friends, but why would I come here to see Oliver when it’s your dad who’s in surgery for internal bleeding,” she babbled on, cringing internally with every ill-conceived word that slipped through her mind-to-mouth filter and tumbled freely from her lips.
“I’m sorry! I know you don’t need to be told of Detective Lance’s condition. I mean, he’s your father, and you’re the one who brought him here when he collapsed, and-.” In practiced fashion, Oliver’s hand found its way to Felicity’s flourishing arm and she quieted instantly, thanking him with a look for ending her hurtful babbles.
Felicity shook her head, trying to ignore the way Laurel’s emotions visibly bubbled to the surface again from their shallow depths. “Shutting up. I’m just going to…” she said as she indicated some empty chairs off to the side of the crowded waiting room, “sit down over here and stop talking. Possibly forever.”
Felicity was lost in her thoughts when, moments later, a blur of motion beside her startled her into noticing that Laurel, now unaccompanied by Oliver who was off to find refreshments, was seating herself in a chair next to her.
Felicity clearly hadn’t suppressed her startled jumping and squeak of alarm as well as she had hoped because Laurel started in response and then looked slightly abashed. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.” Laurel's concern was earnest.
“No, no, I’m just a little on edge, I guess… after everything. And, anyway, I should be the one apologizing. I have this habit of talking without a filter, and it makes me say stupid things. I didn’t mean to sound so callous before because I really am worried about your dad.”
“It’s fine. You really don’t need to apologize, and you already did anyway.” Laurel’s compassion in light of the situation was surprising to Felicity, and she suddenly understood why--aside from the whole gorgeous thing, of course--Oliver might’ve been drawn to the woman, both before the island and after.
“I did?” was the only thing Felicity could think to say in response because she really didn’t remember doing so. She really should get some sleep, but at the same time...
“Yes, you did, and thank you.” Laurel smiled as best she could, though it was understandably tempered by grief and worry. “I’m sure my father would appreciate that you’ve come to check on him. You said you know him?”
“Yeah, um… He’s a friend of sorts. He sort of… arrested me when he found out I was working with- Well, you know."
Laurel nodded and her eyes went distant as she looked away, probably thinking of Oliver and his status as the Arrow, something she'd only recently learned.
Oliver hadn’t wanted Laurel to find out his best kept secret and Felicity couldn't help but wonder what she would do now that she knew.
Would she try to forget it all? Would she try to help them? Would she get herself into danger? Oliver had already lost so much, and Felicity feared what would happen to him if he lost Laurel too.
Thankfully, these threat-of-ulcer thoughts of hers were interrupted when a small disposable cup of coffee slipped into her field of vision, and she looked up to find Oliver had returned from his refreshments run.
Felicity accepted the warm beverage with muttered thanks and a half-smile which Oliver returned. It was still amazing what his presence alone could to to calm her nerves. Even when his smile gave her butterflies.